CK Press Box Report: Kings 116, Timberwolves 108

by Jonathan Santiago & James Ham

Providing a spark off the bench,  Jimmer Fredette and Terrence Williams combined to score 31 points for the Sacramento Kings, who defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 116-108 at Power Balance Pavilion.

“Pushing the basketball,” said Kings head coach Keith Smart after Monday night’s win.  “We needed to do that and we did.”

Fredette scored 19 points, finishing just one point shy of his career high.  Meanwhile, Williams recorded his first double-double as a King, scoring 12 points and grabbing a game-high 12 rebounds.  Three additional Kings players scored in double-digits in the victory.

Sacramento improves to 19-34 on the season and 14-12 at home.  They wrap up a stretch of four games in five nights against the Phoenix Suns tomorrow evening.

Notes and Analysis

  • Jimmer came out firing tonight.  The rookie out of BYU, finished the game with 19 points on 7-for-15 shooting and hit three of the Kings seven 3-pointers.  Jimmer had two opportunities in the fourth quarter to put the Wolves away with wide-open threes, but missed on both.  What is encouraging is that while he took a moment to beat himself up after each of them, you could tell he was ready for the next chance to shine.  This was a big night for number seven.
  • It sounds strange to say, but DeMarcus Cousins and his 20-point, nine rebound night was a bit of a disappointment.  The big man has been rolling lately and the Timberwolves didn’t even have a yield sign to put in front of him.
  • Tyreke Evans played like the Kings needed him to tonight.  The third-year wing out of Memphis finished with a near triple-double – 24 points, 10 rebound and seven assists.  Evans didn’t take a single 3-point attempt, which is a good thing.
  • Another note on Evans: he needs to concentrate on his mid-range game while he continues to attack the rim.  It is encouraging to see him growing into his new role.
  • For most of the evening (regardless of the numbers), Terrence Williams was the best player on the floor.  He sees the floor like a point guard, can rebound like a power forward and can finish like a dunk contest champion.  In just six games as a King, the high-spirited Williams has made a huge impression on team brass.
  • While Jimmer had a breakout game, Isaiah Thomas had a typical Isaiah-like night..  The Kings “other rookie point guard”, scored 17 points and dished out five assists in 27 minutes.  Earlier in the day, Thomas took home the Western Conference Rookie of the Month award for a second consecutive month.
  • The Kings shot a season-high 65 percent from the field in the first half.
  • Brad Miller started in his last visit to Sacramento and turned back the hands of time.  The 14-year veteran out of Purdue scored 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting, including 3-for-3 from 3-point range in the first half.  Not bad for a guy who had only scored 10 points all season.
  • Kevin Love scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Wolves.  As teammates continue to fall, he continues to be is a pillar of strength.  The Kings did a nice job of keeping him off the glass tonight and he was limited to just 34 minutes because of foul trouble.
  • Stat of the Night: The T-Wolves shot 52 percent (11-for-21) from behind the arc tonight in the loss.  Even more impressive is that Miller and Love, the teams starting power forward and center combo, combined 6-for-9 shooting from deep.  Their 3-point shooting is the one thing that kept them in the game.

Injury Report

Marcus Thornton left the game late in the first quarter with a sprained left calf and did not return.

“I’m a guy that usually plays through pain,” said Thornton to media after the game.  “But I couldn’t walk.  If I would’ve tried to play, I would have been hurting my team, so I just (went to the locker room).”

Thornton is considered day-to-day and will receive treatment tomorrow.  No word if he’ll be able to play tomorrow against Phoenix.


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